Hillsboro Considers New Transitional Math Class

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The Hillsboro School Board considered a new high school transitional math program during their regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12, at the unit office.

The school board, staff, superintendent and media were in the room for the meeting; administrators and the public participated remotely.

"The whole purpose of this transitional math is that so many students who go to community colleges have to take remedial math," high school principal Patti Heyen said.  "This class would be a great way to prevent some of that."

Heyen said that since only three years of math are required to graduate from high school, many students opt out of math as a senior, then have to catch up on what they have forgotten in college. Currently, 89 seniors are not enrolled in a math class.

"I wouldn't call it a review," the principal said. "I would call it an emphasis on practical application of skills they already have."

Seniors who pass a transitional math class with a C or better are guaranteed placement in a college math class at any community college in the state and in many state universities.

The class will be offered as a two-semester class and will replace the statistics class in the math department. The class will be on next month's agenda for a board decision.

In the first board meeting since second semester began under the same pandemic protocols as first semester, building principals updated the board on the status of remote learners.

Coffeen pre-K Principal Marci Gutierrez reported that five of the 22 remote students at that school, and Beckemeyer Principal Zach Frailey reported five of the 45 are failing but two are coming back to class.  At the junior high, Principal Don VanGiesen said 23 of the 43 remote learners are failing two or more classes, and at the high school, 30 of the 43 remote learners are failing multiple classes.

Superintendent Powell said he anticipates federal funding–perhaps more than $1 million–for "a very robust" summer school to help remote students who have fallen behind to catch up.

"That doesn't mean you can just blow off classes now and expect to catch up in the summer," Powell said.  "The biggest challenge will be getting the families who need it to participate."

After a closed session, the board accepted the resignation of teacher aides Anne White and Jenn Weiss and boys high school tennis coach Dyke Buerkett, and accepted the retirement of teacher aide Patty Hemken.

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